Reducing the need for medication for care home residents has clear benefits: not only is it better for patients to be less reliant on medication, but less medication can mean reduced costs. Clearly, people who live in care home environments will have complex medication requirements linked to their health but there are medical conditions that care homes can actively seek to improve and one of those is stress and anxiety.
We have recently been made aware of a client of ours who has reduced its medication bill by around 50%, mainly due to a reduction in stress and anxiety among service users. The client believes that one of the contributing factors in this reduction is the effectiveness of the signage around the care home environment.
Of course it’s not signage per se that reduces stress but the issue of orientation: being able to find your way around and identify your own space. Being in unfamiliar surroundings and not fully understanding where things are or how to get to where you need to be can be hugely stressful. Therefore, anything that enables you to orient yourself effectively can be very helpful in reducing that anxiety.
The signage that we designed and created for this particular client was dementia friendly wayfinding signage and therefore it followed best practice for this application; contrast, images, colours, position etc and this kind of anecdotal feedback clearly demonstrates its value. People with dementia obviously have greater difficulty with wayfinding and they’re often more prone to becoming distressed by it. However, we believe that good signage can actually be just as beneficial to those who are not living with dementia – just ask anyone who’s ever had to find their way around a complex building such as a hospital, university or large hotel where meaningful signage can be hard to find.
Reducing stress for residents should be an important goal for all care homes and the design of the environment can play a vital part in achieving this. To talk to us about wayfinding signage for your care home or hospital, call us on 01274 728831 or send us a message.